As part of our ongoing work with the British Library, we were kindly invited to Solas Festival 2019 to meet and record some of the musicians involved in the event. An annual occasion in the village of Errol, Perthshire, its a fantastic event, best described by the festival website:
"Solas Festival - Scotland’s midsummer festival - has been running since 2009. The all-age, weekend-long celebration of music and the arts is designed to entertain, inspire and challenge. Our programme makes space for challenging debate with activists, writers and thinkers from across the political, cultural and religious spectrum. The festival offers a broad, inclusive, creative and entertaining programme for festival-goers of all ages in a safe environment; everyone is welcome. Solas Festival is about placing the arts in a wider context, and we strive to exhibit a commitment to equality, justice, beauty and hospitality throughout the festival. Our aim is to create a space that is tolerant, inclusive and free of prejudice, and for you to have a absolute blast! We are committed to justice in our global outlook and in the running of the festival. Campaigning organisations work closely with us, and help ensure that issues of social justice and responsibility feature in our programming."
Set in the grounds of the Errol Park estate, at the bottom of the Scottish highlands with views over the river Tay, the festival is certainly in a beautiful location. We arrived early on Friday and had time to pop into Errol for a look around and to try some locally made cider in the village pub. It was a friendly place and people chatted with us a bit about the history of the area. It was Laila's first time in Scotland, so it was nice to feel welcomed and learn something about the region.
The festival ran from Friday evening until Sunday night, with an exciting program representing a diverse range of music, arts, writers, activists, discussion sessions and much more. The site became a creative village, with a supportive and inclusive atmosphere. There is also plenty of space to sit and peacefully enjoy the scenery if you wish. It didn't take long to feel relaxed and It was easy to bump into familiar faces as you wondered around, casually falling into conversation with people. We were lucky enough to meet and record quite a few musicians, all of whom had something special to offer.
We'd like to say a huge thanks to everyone we met and who made us welcome at Solas, especially all those people who put so much effort into creating an event that was not only great fun, but also informative and a vital space for the arts and discussion to flourish, in an inclusive atmosphere.
For more information on Solas Festival:
A big thanks to all the talented musicians who where so helpful in making recordings.
A number of other organisations were involved in the festival,
here are links to a couple we met
Finally extra thanks to Mary Ann Kennedy, who saw our post on social media, had the idea to invite us, and kindly introduced us to the rest of the Solas team.
Check out her work here: